i hope you enjoy this chapter. LOVED writing it!!!
What happened next was not my fault. It was instinctual, so the giant splash of water that knocked Atropos off her feet, sending her scissors flying, was the product of temporary insanity. Her shallow wail followed by a shout of wordless anger was drowned out by me leaning over Annabeth, listening for a heartbeat, listening for her breath… And I heard it. I nearly cried.
Instead, I lifted her up bridal style and went to retrieve her Yankees cap; all the while I was silently praying to every God I could think of, apologizing for the watery attack on the Fate Atropos. Not that I was very sorry.
When I sat her down in the locker room, I noticed her head was bleeding silently, probably from hitting her head against the diving board when the chimera forced her back.
“Apollo,” I whispered silently. “Please heal her.”
The God of Sun and I were buds, since my best friend, Rachel, was his new oracle and he was just a cool guy in general—except for the fact that he was pigheaded, too confident, and probably had a nasty crush on Rachel.
He appeared in the locker room, in teen boy form, giving Annabeth’s head wound a serious look. “Hm, that doesn’t look good.” He looked up at me. “So, a chimera?”
I grabbed my jeans and boxers off the floor and said, “Just heal her. Please.”
He tossed his head, forcing his blonde hair away from his eyes and he healed her. I ducked back behind a row of lockers and changed, returning to find Annabeth with her head on his lap, still asleep. I glared at the golden god, wishing he’d fall into a hole.
He winked. “Nice seeing you, Percy.”
When she woke up, she was lying in my bed, her blonde locks spilling onto my pillow and her body tucked under my blankets. I was sitting in the bright blue chair by my door, watching her closely. She started squirming, mumbling, and then her eyes snapped open. For a moment she seemed to just blink, breathe, and take in her surroundings.
“Percy?” she whispered.
“I’m right here.”
She sat up, staring at me. “Why am I in your bedroom? Last thing I remember…” She touched her head and bit her lip. “You okay?”
“I’m fine. How are you?”
“I’m…good. I think.”
I stood and sat at the edge of my bed, leaning over her. “You gave me quite a scare, Wise Girl. I thought…”
“Well now you know how it feels, Seaweed Brain. You nearly died at Mt. St. Helens, and I—” She broke off and I realized now probably wasn’t the time to be arguing about our near death experiences. We were both alive, and that was all that mattered. “Seaweed Brain, thank you for saving me.”
“My pleasure,” I said huskily, my voice low and tense. “Annabeth, how did you know?”
“That the chimera was there.”
“I…I don’t know. I had a feeling that you wanted me at Goode and so I…went.” I considered that for a moment before she reached up to twist her fingers in my hair. “You wanna know something funny? I was so busy trying to save your butt that I hardly noticed how good you looked without a shirt on.”
I felt the blush rising in my cheeks, but she just smiled at me and gently forced my head down to meet my lips with hers. After the day—not to mention the months before—I’d had, I needed this. I was starving for her kisses, and she never disappointed. And I got that feeling again; that feeling that my brain was melting right through my body.
I still had one more day left of school, but Annabeth didn’t. She stayed the night and kissed me goodbye in the morning when I disappeared off to school. I definitely didn’t want to be there when Mom woke up and found her—that would not be fun for me. Thankfully, I wouldn’t get much of a talking to, since her plane took off at 9.
Annabeth called me after school and told me she was waiting in my car in front of the school. I smiled to myself and hung up, running out the front door and sprinting down the steps.
My car was a gorgeous blue Mercury Mariner Hybrid that took up too much room, but made my heart beat fast when I put her in gear, when I started her, and when I lowered my foot onto the gas pedal and made her purr and start up. I shivered. I loved my car.
I opened the shotgun door and looked into the back where our bags were already packed. Annabeth winked at me. “I had fun packing for you.”
“Shut up, Wise Girl, and get over here. I’m driving.”
“Hey, Percy!” I heard someone call. I turned around, looking for whoever owned the voice. Cassie, a girl with dark brown skin that she wore with obvious pride—considering how much of it was showing, even with the brisk weather—and dark chocolate colored eyes came running towards the car. “Lemme give you my number. You know—for Morris’s group project?”
I glanced behind me at Annabeth and noticed she was glaring evilly at Cassie.
“Hey, Annabeth,” I muttered, “relax.”
Cassie must have heard me because she looked into the car as well. “Oh—well then. Maybe you could just Facebook me.”
Annabeth mumbled something about “when did Facebook become a verb?” and “punching sounds better,” but I ignored her and nodded at Cassie.
“Yeah, sure, Cassie. See you next year.”
She blew me a kiss and winked before moving on. When Annabeth stepped out of the car to walk around to my side, she was scowling.
“You’re jealous,” I teased.
“Ha!” She laughed without humor. “Of…that?!”
I shrugged. “Oh, yeah.”
“Shut up, Seaweed Brain, and get in the car. Camp awaits.”
My cabin by the lake was my third home, right behind the beach and the apartment Mom, Paul, and I shared. When I arrived at camp, it was clear that snow was falling outside of it, avoiding the magical barriers Dionysius had created. Grover met me at my cabin first and we talked for a bit—how was Juniper, how was Annabeth, what’s the new Lord of the Wild been up to lately, etc, etc… Dinner was uneventful that evening, as most kids were home, not at camp. The Stolls were there, though, and I noticed a daughter of Aphrodite was sending Annabeth horrid looks when she sat by me after dinner, but most of the familiar faces I knew were gone.
There were newer faces, though. A boy of 12 that was added to the Apollo cabin, a girl of 14 that was hanging out in the Ares cabin, and multiple Aphrodite girls were added, as well, something that Annabeth groaned at.
Annabeth and I sat at the edge of the lake by my cabin, watching as snow fell somewhere in the distance, but the lake was still pure water, and the weather was still warm inside of camp. She leaned her head on my shoulder, sighing.
The sun finally disappeared and my breath caught.
“How about a midnight swim?” I asked, kissing the top of her head.
All I heard was her breathing, and then she looked up at me. “I don’t know.”
“You can trust me.”
I eased her into the warm water carefully; when she reached waist height she stopped, silently letting me know she didn’t wish to continue. When I made a slight move to let go of her hand, she whined and held tighter, gripping my arm. Smiling, I turned to wrap my arms around her waist and rest my forehead against hers. “I’ll never let go. I promise.”
My dream was the kind of dream that made me sweat and made me squirm. And so when I woke up, I breathed easier, happy that the nightmare was over, but then again, worried that it wasn’t. I ran a hand through my hair and looked around my cabin before noticing that the padded blue chair near my bed had slight indents in the cushion, as if a weight was added to it. Maybe I was being paranoid—correct, I was definitely being paranoid—but then I heard breathing, soft and even.
My fingers curled around Riptide.
Without saying anything, I brushed the covers off and lunged for the chair, skidding on my knees, before freezing, the tip of Riptide in the air. My eyes searched for the invisible thing. I lowered Riptide and reached up. The brim of the cap met my fingers and the breathing I heard hitched. My sword clattered to the ground. Using both hands, I felt down to her perfect, smooth cheeks, her parted lips, down to her neck. My heart was in my throat.
“Dammit, Wise Girl, you scared me.”
I reached back up to where her hat should be and pulled it off, letting her blonde hair fall into my hands.
“H-how’d you know?” she whispered, half stuttering.
“Paranoid, I guess,” I whispered back. My eyes were fixed on hers and my heart was pumping erratically as fear settled down and the sudden need to kiss her and make sure she was real presented itself.
Waves crashed loudly around me, like a warning—a warning that I should probably pay heed to. Instead, I leaned towards her and she leaned over me. Right before her lips brushed against mine, she grabbed her hat from my hands, throwing it on and disappearing.
I was so shocked that for a moment I did nothing but stare at the now empty chair that I knew Annabeth was no longer in. Then I heard, “Come and find me, Seaweed Brain,” from the direction of my door.
“If you go outside I’m not following you.”
But the door didn’t move. I stood and froze, listening for a minute. Then I heard the rebellious creak of a floor board and I picked up Riptide, smiling.
“I have a sword. You have a baseball cap. Hmm…”
She didn’t speak. Next thing I knew I was tackled onto the floor, my back hitting the wood floor hard. I groaned and she giggled.
“Oops,” she taunted.
“Oh, you’re gonna pay for that.”
“Invulnerable or not, Percy, I can still kick your butt.”
“And how would you go about doing that?”
“By distracting my opponent, of course.”
I pretended to consider that for a moment before I said, “How?”
And when she kissed me, I reached up and pulled off her cap once more.
i liked the thing about midnight swimming, cuz i thought it was kind of romantic, and i think Percy is so awkward around Annabeth most of the time that we don't see his romantic side. then we see a bit of his playful side when Annabeth sneaks into his cabin. i LOVED writing that part, cuz i thought i was so cool that he would just reach up and take off the Yankees cap. :D:D:D
for anyone who doesn't know, Annabeth's Yankees cap makes her invisible. :P
LOVE YOU ALL,
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